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On Sunday, we will stop and give our memory to those who have dedicated their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we have – and sometimes take it for granted.
Memories of the dead are kept alive every year because they have important lessons for us. Wars have been making terrible tolls on families for generations. In Canada, we choose November 11 at 11.00 as a time of silence and reflection – day, hour and minute, which signal the end of World War I.
While most countries honor their killed in a war, whether they are associated with the First World War or not, they can do so on different days, and even in different wars. Most countries recognize the importance of commemorating those who sacrificed their lives to help them gain freedom.
The Netherlands is such a country. She respects Canadians who lost their lives during World War II, but her special day falls on May 4 of each year. This is the day when Canadian soldiers are recognized for freeing him from Nazi oppression. Hundreds of people are now in Canadian cemeteries on the Dutch soil.
Every year, on May 4, children are asked to put candles on every Canadian grave – just as young people appreciate the role of Canada in helping the Netherlands become a thriving state as it is today.
One of my most powerful emotional experiences happened during my visit to the Canadian war cemetery of Holten three years ago. I asked a middle-aged man if his generation treated the Canadian effort as much as his older ones.
He told me, saying that his father brought him to the cemetery once a year and said: "Look out, they are the only reason you have what you have today".
While the official Canada Memorial Day is Sunday, celebrations on Newfoundland on July 1 are more important.
During the First World War, long before Newfoundland became a Canadian province, the soldiers fought under the British flag. On July 1, 1916, on the first day of Somma's offensive, 758 of her soldiers set off to battle. At the end of this day, 90 percent of them died or died.
When we celebrate Canada Day, many Newfoundland will go to Beaumont-Hamel in France, where they are honored by the French every year. A brown caribou, their fighting mascot, stands guard over those who lie below. It was erected to remind everyone how much of this small province was devoted.
Since November 11 falls on the Sunday of this year, Great Britain will also commemorate the Memorial Day. However, in other years takes place on the first Sunday closest to November 11.
In the United States, the Memorial Day, which is always on the last Monday of May, is most remembered by US soldiers who gave their lives. He recognizes those who have fallen into all conflicts, returning to the American Civil War, which is still the most deadly conflict in US history.
The memorial day of South Korea falls on June 6 to remind those who died in the Korean War, which began in 1950. Many Canadians also lost their lives in this conflict.
Nigeria, a member of the Commonwealth, also observed the memory of November 11. However, after the end of the brutal civil war in 1970, the country changed it on January 15.
Atomic bombs accelerated the end of the Second World War in Japan. The almost complete devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has turned the country into one of the strongest opponents of using war tools to resolve disputes.
On August 15, the day Japan surrendered to the Allied forces, it is known as the Mourning Day after the war and the Prayer for peace.
Russia also pays tribute to those who gave their lives during World War II. However, his memorial day falls on May 9, the day after Day VE is marked in much of Europe. Today in Israel there are also ceremonies and several countries of Eastern Europe.
Almost one-year battle at Gallipoli was one of the most unsuccessful in the First World War for the Allies. For the combined army corps of Australia and New Zealand, known as ANZAC, it was particularly devastating. But he announced the beginning of national consciousness in these two countries, which would lead to a strong nationality, which they are respected to this day.
In both countries, on April 25, the day on which their forces landed in Gallipoli, we commemorate those who died.
Turkey was an ally of Germany in the Battle of Gallipoli. It was part of the victorious side of the conflict, but many soldiers died in battle. This country remembers its fallen troops on the Day of the Martyr, March 18 – the date of the key naval battle in the conflict.
A significant day of celebration in Italy is known as the Day of National Unity and the Armed Forces. It falls on November 4, marking the day in 1918, when the powerful Austro-Hungarian empire was defeated and subjected to the Italian forces.
France will also commemorate the Day of the ceasefire on Sunday. One of the more expressive opinions that the war affects all sides of the conflict, is the Ring of Remembrance, in the largest military cemetery of the First World War in France – Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, near the battlefield in Arras. Built in 2014, it honors 600,000 people, friends and enemies who died in battles.
Their names are engraved in a round monument to recognize the horrors of war for all nations.
Please, take time on Sunday to pay homage to those who have left, but whose memories live in freedom that we enjoy today.
On November 16, at noon, I will be doing a presentation about Athens and the Greek islands in the Millennium Public Library. There is no participation fee, and you do not need to register.
If you want to track my Voices of Travel podcasts, you can subscribe to them in iTunes or Google Play. If you have a question about the trip you want to respond to, please contact me at [email protected]
Ron is a devoted traveler who explored 65 countries around the world, as well as all provinces outside of Canada (Newfoundland).
Read the full biography